Last Thursday morning, as I got dressed, I noticed that my shirt was manufactured in Macau, and I was amazed that I did not remember noticing that before. I may have; I just don’t remember remembering it. The reason that it bothered me, or at least stuck in my head was that I pride myself in my knowledge of geography, enough to make it a unit of my class when I was still teaching. We would have the kids look at labels of clothing and items around the class and house, and try to classify the items by continent. We never found anything from Antarctica (hah) and only a few items from Australia. Even many Uggs are not made there anymore. One fascinating fact was the emergence of items manufactured in Africa over the past few years. The economic lesson of the consumer frenzy of our past was clear, even to my little kiddies. You always end up paying more for paying cheap.
But I did not start this to make an economic lesson; perhaps another time, as well. I started it for exactly what happened, which is the scattered state of my mind. When we were at stop #1 at daughter#!’s house, after losing at Sorry! since I wouldn’t make granddaughter #1 go back to base and then she wiped me out, I played Scrambled States of America, which is a lot of fun. I then remembered that I didn’t know where Macau was and we looked for it on her World Placemat. We didn’t find it. She also beat me at that game, but that was okay, since it was really luck and it was great that she had more of it than I did.
So we had a great time, too short but sweet, and then we went on to stop #2 to see son #1 and his new wife, and bring them to stop #3 for wonderful friends’ son’s bar mitzvah celebration, also seeing daughter #2, husband and kiddies. I realized that morning, by the way, that it was very curious that I didn’t notice Macau since I have the same shirt in 5 different colors and I’ve had them for a few years…
We didn’t enjoy the rain travelling to stop #1. There is nothing fun about driving in the rain on the highway. It makes me nervous and exhausted, which doesn’t lead to a good night’s sleep. We didn’t mind the rain during Shabbat, since we were prepared for it. But we found the attention that you need to pay while you’re not at your own space to be even more exhausting.
And everyone knows how exhausting marathon eating can be…
Of course the whole experience of being with old friends was wonderful and emotional, with lots of tissues shared, including wiping noses of grandchildren who were hard to catch…
We then went on to stops #2, 4, and 5, before returning again to stop #1. I didn’t check the odometer for how many miles we put in; we also had a lot of stop and go traffic, or why don’t we call it crawling? One stop was to visit family who couldn’t come to our wedding a month ago due to health issues; that was great, except for the dog who also was visiting. So the medicine that I took to protect me from dogs was also supposed to help with mosquito bites that took over my legs, but I think it just made me loopier than usual. My poor husband had to drive all the way back to our house, since I was still feeling loopy today.
While I am writing this, I am also catching up on days’ worth of emails, looking at other websites, ordering photobooks (they’re so great!) of the grandchildren (they’re so great!!!) and then re-sending the emails that are getting rejected. I have to download new photos and that will be another reason I won’t get things done.
There’s an old email that got sent around a few years ago that’s apropos how I’m feeling, about starting to look for something and then ending up putting something away that you find in the meantime, and not getting the original thing done, but I thought I’d quote this instead now, something else I read today.
“A rich life is rich in plans. If they don’t come off, they are still a little bit realized. If they do, they may be disappointing. That’s why a trip described becomes better the greater the time between the trip and the telling. I believe too that if you can know a man’s plans, you know more about him than you can in any other way.”
– John Steinbeck,
Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters
Have you ever seen a car with a license plate from Hawaii? Why would anyone ship a car all the way to the mainland? We did.
I also read this today upon our return. Actually, I haven’t finished it yet, but I will.
Oh, here’s where Macau is, by the way. I didn’t find out until I came back this afternoon. Who knew?
What is the state motto of my state? Confused, I would say. But I don’t think I’m alone…